This Thanksgiving Turkey with Cranberry Chile Tequila Glaze is the ultimate Thanksgiving turkey – spicy, sweet and packed with flavor thanks to a rich cranberry chile tequila glaze.
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Thanksgiving is fast approaching – have you started thinking of your menu yet?
There has been a turkey that I have always wanted to try but I’m used to the traditional Thanksgiving Turkey – basted with butter, crispy skin and stuffed with a bit of onions, garlic, thyme, sage and rosemary. However, when Marcela Valladolid made an Apricot and Tequila Glazed Turkey on her show, I made a mental note to give that recipe a try. After all, you know I love adding a bit of “spirit” to some dishes and a turkey injected with a butter and tequila infusion – now that is intriguing.
OXO recently challenged a group of food bloggers to make “The Ultimate Thanksgiving Turkey” for #OXOTurkeyDay and the first thing I thought – I need to make that tequila turkey. I love Latin flavors and, with a few twists, this Cranberry Chile Tequila Glazed Turkey took center stage. OXO sent us some tools to help make the turkey preparation super simple and you know their tools always produce a fantastic dish. I mean, look at these OXO tools we had to play with…
Everything you might need for the perfect turkey! I especially loved the Poultry Lifter, angled baster and the fat separator. After many a drama lifting the bird from pan to plate over the years, seeing this poultry lifter was like angels singing.
Making the glaze was so simple. I am a spice wuss so I’d suggest using 3 – 4 chiles. Now, while the turkey looks “toasty”, it really wasn’t. The sugar in the honey that was in the glaze caramelized a bit but some foil tented over the breast calmed down any chance of severe “sunburn”. I will say that the “toasty” skin was a huge huge hit. The sauce was perfect the next day slathered on some ciabatta bread with leftover turkey nestled between.
So – if you want to think “out of the box”, this Thanksgiving Turkey with Cranberry Chile Tequila Glaze will be the star of your holiday table. Just remember, there might be a shortage of leftovers because this turkey is that good.
On to the recipe:
Gather your ingredients
Let’s simmer the ancho chiles with some fresh cranberries
Let’s glaze the turkey shall we – don’t be scared – it’s going to be a dark glaze but remember, there’s flavor in the brown.
And basting it every 30 minutes or so.
Let’s make the pan sauce – see how the fat is separates – so easy!
Look at that gorgeous bird – with a bit more glaze coating the turkey, how can you go wrong!
Adapted from Marcella Valladolid
A rich burnished turkey slathered with a cranberry chile tequila glaze takes center stage on the holiday table.
45 minPrep Time
2 hr, 45 Cook Time
3 hr, 30 Total Time
- 3 to 4 dried Ancho chiles , stemmed and deseeded
- 1 cup of fresh cranberries
- 2 cups of chicken stock
- 2 tablespoons of silver tequila
- 1/3 cup of apricot jam
- 2 tablespoons of honey (depending on how sweet you like it)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons of Mexican oregano
- 3 cloves of garlic, smashed
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 1/4 teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper
- 4 tablespoons of butter, melted
- 3 tablespoons of silver tequila
- 3/4 cup of chicken stock
- 1 14-pound turkey, giblets and neck removed
- 1 1/4 cup of chicken stock
- Heat the oven to 425 degrees F.
- In a large saucepan, add the dried Ancho chiles, cranberries and chicken stock.
- Bring the mixture to a boil over medium high heat and then turn off the heat.
- Let the mixture sit for 10 - 15 minutes so the chiles can soften.
- In a blender, add the cranberry chile mixture, tequila, apricot jam, honey, Mexican oregano, garlic, salt and pepper.
- Blend until smooth. Taste the mixture to see if it needs more salt or if it's too tart. If it is tart, you can add a touch more honey.
- Transfer the blended cranberry chile mixture to a medium sauce pan.
- Reserve one cup to brush on the turkey.
- In a bowl, whisk together the melted butter, tequila and chicken stock. Add a touch of salt and pepper.
- Bind the turkey so that the wings are turned under and the legs are held together with twine. Place on a roasting rack in a roasting pan.
- Using a flavor injector, inject the tequila mixture into the breast, thighs, legs etc. until the turkey is plump. If there is any tequila butter left over, feel free to lightly brush the turkey with it.
- Glaze the turkey with the cup of the Cranberry Chile glaze. Place some of the glaze between the skin and the breast.
- Season the turkey with salt and pepper.
- Add the remaining chicken stock (about 1 1/4 cups) to the roasting pan.
- Roast the turkey at 425 degrees F. for 45 minutes and then reduce the oven to 350 F.
- Roast the turkey another 2 hours, until the turkey registers 165 F in the thickest part of the thigh/leg.
- Baste the turkey every 30 minutes or so. If you see the turkey getting too brown, feel free to tent it with aluminum foil.
- Remove the turkey to a platter to rest and drain the pan drippings into a fat separator.
- Remove the fat from the pan drippings and pour the pan drippings into the remaining cranberry chile glaze. Stir to combine.
- Boil the sauce for about 10 - 15 minutes until the sauce has thickened and reduced a bit.
- Serve with the turkey and enjoy!
OXO has a surprise for you. You see those lovely tools I referenced above? They have a set that you can win just in time for the holiday. Enter to win below!
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